May 25, 2015 – Week 35

Hello! Guess what? I’m packing my bags!! I found out yesterday that I am moving to the lovely city of Leeuwarden! WHAT SAY WHAT! Well, I mean I knew I was leaving, I just didn’t know where 🙂 Leeuwarden is a city way way up north in the Netherlands. I’m going to the complete opposite side!

It is sad to be leaving Maastricht, but I feel ready for the change. And I’m excited for the whirlwind of a future that I’m going to have! Being in a Dutch ward! I almost feel like my mission is restarting because apparently people in the North don’t know English nearly as well! Also I think people will laugh at my southern accent. Oh, how exciting.

It was funny because in my interview with President this week, he basically just said hello, we prayed, he asked how I was, said I’d likely leave, and we prayed again. He is an efficient man. My interview with his wife was very touching. It was pretty ridiculous because within the first 15 seconds, we were both crying haha 🙂 I’ve learned a lot from her and she shared with my the ways she’s seen me be spiritually strong.

These past 4 transfers in Maastricht, I’ve learned so much about testimony – it really is a gift from God and something we always need to work at. I’ve learned about charity, patience, diligence, and self-esteem. I’ve met the biggest spiritual giants and examples! And my love for cultures has shot up even more!

I have a testimony of God’s plan for us and I can see that in how he helps our investigators. He always knows what is best. I was touched by a quote I heard this week that said something like “Isn’t it funny that we humans, who wear wristwatches, try to counsel the Master of all time and space!”

Oh also my companion slammed into a car door this week. He was not looking and opened his door as she was biking by. No serious damage but some bruises. The Lord protects his missionaries!

I know I said I’d send pictures, but unfortunately the computer is not working with my card reader…sorry mom! 😀 Wish I could write more! Love you all and have a great week!

Love,

Sister Manning

Advertisements

May 18, 2015 – Week 34

Life is just cool. When you think about our loving Heavenly Father and His merciful plan for us, you just have to take a step back and say “Wow”! 

This has been a busy week, as usual full of funny moments, some discouragements, and miracles along the way. But I just want to share one cool story to display just how involved the Lord’s hand is in His work.  So on King’s Day in Maastricht, we had a big stand and gave out Book of Mormons in all different sorts of languages and met many people! One family who we are now teaching is incredible-the father is from Iran and the mother from Iraq. They are religious refugees. He is atheist and she was Muslim but converted to Christianity. Before the King’s Day the father had a dream in which two messengers gave him a Book of Mormon and told him he needed to go to church. He had never heard of the book but wrote down the title. He reads in Farsi  (ah spelling??) and she in Arabic. So he came by but we didn’t have a copy in his language. But he talked to an elder and took a card and asked for a copy of the book. Later she came by the stand, saw the title, and told her husband what it is in his language! They called the number on the card a couple days later and now are coming to church and reading in the Book of Mormon. So cool! The only problem is there is a huge lanugage barrier. But! We just had a military family move in and the father speaks Arabic fluently. Miracles! 

I wish I had more time to write other crazy mission experiences but maybe you all will just have to read my journal some day 🙂 Pictures to come next week! I’m so thankful for this gospel. Christ’s grace is able to help us every step of the way, through the good times and the bad. Take His hand and move courageously forward! I love you all and have a great week! 

Sister Manning

May 4, 2015 – Week 32

Hello friends of the world! Ah man, on this my first day in my second decade on the planet earth I wish to express my heartfelt love for you all and for this wonderful work we call missionary work! Haha but seriously, I’ve had one of the best birthdays/weeks ever! 

Starting off with Monday, Koningsdag, or King’s Day, was a great success! We had an “army” of about 10 missionaries, all of us wearing the beautiful national color orange, and we went to the free market to spread the gospel! People on this day perform music in the park, sell clothes, baked goods, you name it! We set up a banner and two giant posters and a layout of Book of Mormons in so many languages that it was comparabel to the Visitor’s Center.  😀 We got to talk to many people and we are even teaching 3 new investigators from it! 

I love Nederland and I love me some contacting! An enthusastic member who helped out that day said in his testimony on Sunday, “I’ve been down to Antwerpen and seen the diamonds and beautiful things, but nothing can compare to the joy I felt that day.” I add my “amen to that!” 

Yesterday, we had an amazing Sunday as well. We had a really special experience where we were biking when I recognized a man that I’d given a Book of Mormon a couple months ago to. We started talking to his friend who was very skeptical of God and religion and just making jokes about South Park.  We were about to ride away when two of his friends showed up, one of them very drunk, which is a funny story in itself (prison tatoo stories and slurred Dutch all included for free), but we ended up talking to another one of the friends…Anyway long story short, we bike away and about five minutes later, the man who originally mocked it, biked up to us and expressed that he didn’t want to say it in front of his other friends but he was really looking for change. He started to tear up as he said he was giving up hope on his life but saw something different in us and wants to see if it can help him turn his life around, because just earlier that week he had thought about ending it. It was a really sobering and lovely exprerience and we will meet with him later this week. 

Sister Dobler and I are having a blast here in Maastricht, she is so funny, she reminds me a lot of Kiki acutally, and we have some random mutual connections which is fun! I’ve had a simple birthday but fun with panakoken baking and story telling, and I’ve received an outpouring of love though emails and notes from former companions. And then Sunday I will get to skype my dear mother, the best present ever (insert aww-ing here) 
I love this gospel and I know it changes lives! Onward, Ever onward!
Love,
Sister Joshlin Manning